Here’s a slew of vegan sweet potato recipes from appetizers to desserts. This selection features great ways to help you use more of this richly flavored, vividly orange-hued vegetable.
In praise of sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the most ancient, nutritious, and valuable food crops of the Americas. Not to diminish the value of white or golden potatoes, but in comparison, sweet potatoes are substantially richer in nutrients.
They’re especially high in vitamin A and the major minerals. With their natural sweetness and glorious color, sweet potatoes lend themselves to simple preparations. And thought sweet potatoes are splendid as a side dish, simply baked or microwaved, you’ll want to explore the easy, plant-based options presented here.
Are sweet potatoes the same thing as yams? In a word, no. Sweet potatoes are the vegetable that have a deep orange, usually moist flesh. Yams are pale or paler on the inside, with a drier, mealier flesh (that’s still pretty sweet). Sweet potatoes are often marketed, not correctly as yams or “southern yams.” Dishes like candied yams are most always made with sweet potatoes.
The exception to this are garnet yams. These are a smaller, and even sweeter variety of sweet potato. If you see them, grab some!
Sweet Potato Hummus with Artichoke Hearts: Sweet potato hummus is a mellow backdrop for briny artichoke hearts (or olives, if you prefer the variation).
Vegan Avocado and Sweet Potatoes Quesadillas or Soft Tacos: These vegan avocado and sweet potato quesadillas (or soft tacos) might be made with just 5 ingredients, but they pack a lot of great flavor.
Soups & Stews
Coconut Sweet Potato Bisque: The prep for this cheerful-hued coconut sweet potato bisque is super easy — the sweet potatoes are microwaved ahead of time and then just scooped out of their skins.
White Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Squash: Here’s a vegan white bean stew that you could possibly call a white bean chili, though you need not call it anything but simple and tasty.
African-Inspired Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Okra: A delectable sweet potato and okra stew in a rich peanut butter base, this is a westernized version of a typical African recipe.
Thai-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew: With Thai ingredients available at most natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets, it has become easy to enjoy the delightful flavors of this cuisine at home. Case in point, this delectable sweet potato stew.
Miso Soup with Sweet Potatoes & Greens: Sweet potato and tender greens (choose from spinach, arugula, watercress, or tatsoi) synergize nicely in this quick miso soup.
Skillet Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes & Tortillas: Skillet black beans with sweet potatoes embellished with tortillas is a hearty vegan main dish for families that enjoy lively south-of-the-border flavors.
Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherds’ Pie: This comforting, hearty vegan sweet potato shepherd’s pie is a perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas main dish, but you need not wait for a holiday to enjoy it.
Curried Sweet Potatoes with Chard & Chickpeas: A fusion of flavor and color is what this hearty dish of curried sweet potatoes with chard and chickpeas is all about.
White Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Onions, & Olives: Here’s a delectably different kind of pizza—a vegan white pizza brimming with well-cooked onions, roasted sweet potato, and briny olives. Combine this pizza with most any kind of salad, and you have a delicious cool-weather dinner.
Roasted Sweet Potato Mac ‘n “Cheese”: The ‘cheese’ in this recipe by Sophia Zergiotis is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard, and nutritional yeast. The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish! This may not be what you’d expect to find on a list of vegan sweet potato recipes, but it’s amazing.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Leeks & Walnuts: Try this festive side dish of mashed sweet potatoes with leeks and walnuts to dress up the fall and winter holiday table, or any other special occasion.
Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans: Subtly sweetened and topped with crunchy toasted pecans, maple mashed sweet potatoes is a classic Thanksgiving side dish, though you need not wait for a special occasion to enjoy it.
Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Here’s a holiday-sized portion of maple roasted sweet potatoes in a preparation that enhances the natural sweetness of this well-loved vegetable.
Maple roasted sweet potatoes and apples: This is a side dish that’s as welcome for fall and winter holiday meals as for everyday fare.
Carrot & Sweet Potato Tzimmes: You don’t have to wait for a holiday — or be Jewish — to enjoy carrot and sweet potato tzimmes. It’s a festive dish for any cool-weather occasion.
Easy Hash Brown Potatoes: This versatile and easy hash brown potatoes recipe has been a favorite in my family for ages. It’s vegan, of course, and there are lots of ways to vary it. Include sweet potatoes for color and flavor.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans: Garnet yams are even sweeter than sweet potatoes, so Leslie Cerier suggests using them in this recipe. Serve it as part of a vegan Thanksgiving holiday or anytime you want to warm up the house with the sweet aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bulgur & Sweet Potato Pilaf: This attractive dish by Vicki Chelf has a subtle sweet flavor and the crunch of toasted walnuts. Double this recipe for a great winter holiday grain dish—it’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.
5 Ways to Make Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Though they’re super tasty in their own right, making stuffed sweet potatoes with vegetables, beans, and other vegan ingredients takes them to a whole new level.
Tri-Color Potato & Arugula Salad: This potato and arugula salad combines three kinds of potatoes with the peppery greens for an earthy flavor with plenty of eye appeal.
Sweet Potato and Waldorf Salad: The addition of the sweet potato and toasted pine nuts makes this simple salad an exceptional side dish or a hearty lunch. Because the natural flavors blend so well, there’s little need for exotic seasonings. This salad was created by Zel Allen.
Sweet Potato Biscuits: Here’s a vegan version of the very slightly sweet, traditional Southern sweet potato biscuits. They’re a perfect companion to hearty vegetable or bean stews, and a nice addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas menus. Or, just enjoy them for breakfast or as a not-too-sweet companion to a cup of coffee or tea.
Vegan sweet potato pie: This veganized classic pie is made with silken tofu and sets up beautifully when baked. The cheering color makes it perfect for fall or winter occasions. Pie crust sizes vary, so if excess filling remains after pouring into the crust, fill a ramekin or two, and bake at the same time as the pie to make mini-puddings.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cake: Just as the flavors of pumpkin (or other orange winter squash, especially butternut) and chocolate are surprisingly compatible, so are the flavors of sweet potato and chocolate.